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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 07-12-2021, 03:17 PM
helenj helenj is offline
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Default No $$$ for Family Trial

Hi all,

I have been involved in a criminal trial (false accusations) for 2 years that may be coming to an end in next 6 months. The accusations are against her and not the kids.

Assume it's 'Not Guilty'.

She's pushing for a Family Trial right after the criminal trial is done however my funds are exhausted and she's offering only a few hours a week, supervised with my two young kids (around 9 years old) but I want 50/50 as I was always involved before the criminal allegations.

I do not want to self-represent as I am not sure how to navigate the system and I do not quality for legal aid.

The Judge (during Trial scheduling conference) basically said no more motions until Family Trial begins, which is about a month after my criminal trial is done.

Assume she does not change her position. What are my options? Would I have any way to one day get back to 50/50? What will happen If I go to Trial? I have no idea so would appreciate any guidance/insights.

Thank you all
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Old 07-12-2021, 03:44 PM
Stillbreathing Stillbreathing is offline
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You ask for an adjournment. My ex has successfully stalled snd avoided trial for 10 years now. Make a reasonable offer to settle laying out in detail the steps and time frame to arrive at 50/50. You can hire a lawyer on a limited retainer.
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Old 07-12-2021, 03:56 PM
helenj helenj is offline
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Thanks for your response!

What if I ask for an adjournment and she pushes for trial anyway? She has said (through her lawyer) that she wants to go to trial so she can "move on with her life".

Mind you, we already have a family trial date set. What is the chance that I can adjourn?

I also have a family lawyer now but not sure if I can afford him for the trial.

Thanks again
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Old 07-12-2021, 04:58 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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She could be pushing for trial thinking you will be found guilty. The getting on with her life comment speaks to that attitude. Are you completely sure it will be a not guilty decision? Not to mention, even with the verdict a judge may see things differently and err on the side of caution with the kids. There have been a few cases of kids being killed by their dads without a report of violence but moms fighting for the kids to be in supervised visitation.

What does your lawyer say about your case? Has there been any talk about graduated access over a period of time? You may want to offer gradual increases rather than all or nothing.
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Old 07-12-2021, 06:19 PM
helenj helenj is offline
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Hi
Thanks for responding!

My lawyer says she presents well (she's professionally trained to be very presentable) but there is evidence that refutes her allegations.

What I am trying to understand though is what are my options. Specifically

1. What happens if I accept her offer because I can't go to trial due to financial reasons, but then want more access in 3-6 months?

2. What happens if I offer her a graduating schedule and she refuses and still insists on trial?

I'm trying to understand all my options in this. So far the only option I am aware of is to ask for an adjournment. Any other options?
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Old 07-12-2021, 07:30 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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If you accept her offer you accept her offer. Unless there is a material change (and thats steep) you will not be able to file for more. You agreed to the schedule and it was completed on consent.

If she refuses your offer then you go to trial. There is no other option.

You wont know until you make the offer. You also need to decide if your chance of getting gradual access at trial is worth the cost. Is your case strong enough with a lawyer? She can present well all she wants but your case has to be stronger than her presentation. You are banking on your criminal trial miraculously changing your chances. It all depends on the outcome.
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Old 07-12-2021, 09:46 PM
helenj helenj is offline
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Got it - so basically I will have no choice but to go to trial or accept her offer.

I was hoping there was a way to get most of the issues done through motions, but we've already done a settlement conference and trial scheduling conference and the judge already set the trial dates.

I feel like they have cornered me really well and there is no way out for me.
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Old 07-13-2021, 08:11 AM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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They havent cornered you. Your case has been your downfall. A lot of men get false allegations made but you had charges laid and a trial scheduled. That means the government had enough evidence to believe they would get a guilty verdict. That has also given your ex enough to go for full custody. There are a few men on here who have fought the allegations (did not go to criminal charges) and had a battle to reach 50/50. Even if your criminal trial comes back not guilty, you could have a bigger battle in family court.

Only you and your ex (and the extra parties) know your case and the charges. I dont know of anyone on here who went to trial in criminal court. And like I said, the ones who werent charged still had a battle. You may have to find the money somewhere if you want a fighting chance in family court. You may also want to consider what judges have said in the conferences. They know how these cases play out and what happens. Their advice during the conferences will be helpful in determining an option.

As it stands, I am extremely doubtful you will get anything close to 50/50. Im sorry to say but it is just the way things work when a criminal trial is involved. Your best bet is to make an offer in line with what the judges have said and similar to what she is offering (with some benefits of course) because you also run the risk of losing and having to pay her legal fees.
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Old 07-13-2021, 09:50 PM
StillPaying StillPaying is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenj View Post
Got it - so basically I will have no choice but to go to trial or accept her offer.
It's been a long process to get to trial. Didn't sneak up on you.

Quote:
I was hoping there was a way to get most of the issues done through motions, but we've already done a settlement conference and trial scheduling conference and the judge already set the trial dates.
Seems like trial would be better for you over more motions. Finish your criminal matter then use the outcome to fight in FC.
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Old 07-14-2021, 12:11 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Counter offer- but not with a straight 50/50 with graduated time. Make it more favourable to her- offer a graduated increase of parenting time to 60/40 and a chance to reassess without a material change in two years. If you can't agree to a 50/50 schedule in two years- you can have a few options- agree to seek the guidance of a parental coordinator and a facilitator/mediator (non-binding); and if that fails- agree that either party may bring a motion to change and the other party will not oppose the motion on the basis that there has been no material change.
Start with supervised and increase it steadily and quickly- remove supervision after 3 months without incident, keep the schedule low one day each weekend- one day during the week; then add an activity in a public place- e.g. soccer after school. Keep increasing it every three to four months. Until you get to EOW and two days a week after school for dinner.

Make the offer so that you're able to show you are willing to limit your contact with her- offer to only use Our Family Wizard. Offer individual as well as co-parent counselling. Make it really clear you are willing to work on yourself and work with her to co-parent effectively.

Offer parallel parenting that doesn't put you two in conflict- give her medical, you take education.

If the criminal allegations are false- how is it that you haven't been offered a plea deal? to take PARs and something else. If you're going to trial- from my understanding it signals that it's serious and the prosecution has enough evidence for a conviction. Or this isn't your first charge. If that's case- well, good luck with that. Maybe you shouldn't actually have 50/50.

edited to add: yeah- that's my bias showing; because if you abused your partner then you're an asshole and definitely don't deserve shared custody and equal access....). If all the accusations are false (based on what you have posted- I'm skeptical)- that sucks. But you can work on getting a decent share of parenting time- with timeline in place to see 50/50 even after no material change.

Last edited by iona6656; 07-14-2021 at 12:14 PM.
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